Lost Dimension (PS Vita) Review

By André Eriksson 27.09.2015

Review for Lost Dimension on PS Vita

Lost Dimension takes parts of the strategic RPG genre, adds a fair dosage of story and a system similar to the classic Mastermind to find out who is the turncoat in this thrilling title. In true modern JRPG fashion, there are many systems to keep in mind when playing through it, adding several layers of depth and options for building characters, and, most importantly, befriending party members and finding out the identity of the betrayer. This makes Lost Dimension an interesting and unique title in the genre, but is it as good as it is interesting? After looking at the PS3 edition, Cubed3 offers another verdict for the PS Vita release.

Lost Dimension starts off as a typical turn-based SRPG in the same style and sense as the X-COM games, focusing on utilising movements and isolating the enemies to gank them for the win. Maybe even more so, the combat system rewards keeping the group close together. This is done by making nearby allies who are close to the character in question use powerful combo attacks, which makes it easy to slice through the hordes of enemies presented. It quickly becomes very important to utilise this neat feature to win the battles ahead, and adds strategic depth, having to keep in mind exactly where to put the party to not only be able to team up to take down the enemy squad, but also to ensure the party itself does not become wiped off in one swell swoop.

While inspiration for the combat has clearly been taken from more Western-themed SRPGs, Lancarse has not completely disregarded the long tradition of the Japanese spectrum of role-playing games. Lost Dimension comes with many big and vast subsystems to help improve the characters in different ways, which equally sees combat strategies being used and abused to get a great grade at the end of the stage. Each and every character can be built in several ways, creating different characters with a complex skill tree, meaning all points spent matters throughout the game.

However, the most important and affecting non-combat system of them all is the voting process and the traitors. This system is a creative one that produces even more depth, as it encourages changing team members around, instead of just keeping the same characters in each stage, like normally rewarded for in other SRPGs.

The way it works is: at the beginning of each chapter, one character is randomised to be the traitor, and players have to figure out who it is. This is done thanks to the main character's power to read the souls of the people he pairs up with, which is used in a Mastermind-esque way to determinate who the potential traitors are, making for a fun sub-game beside the traditional SRPG gameplay offered. Then, at the end of each chapter, a vote starts where one character is judged to be killed by the others, similar to how reality TV shows send one participant home at the end of each week. The goal in these votes is to make sure that the character who is the traitor gets voted off. Easy as that. In each playthrough, different characters will be the traitor.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PS Vita

Besides being an added feature to the game, this system also twists a fundamental in the genre. Instead of increasing the number of party members, they are consistently decreased throughout the adventure by the hands of players themselves, limiting the choices in each chapter. It poses the question: go for strategy and keep good characters alive, or hunt the traitors?

This is only fun for about half of the game, though. The problem rests in that the ambitious number of different systems makes each part of it flawed in one way or another. Many aspects are focused on in Lost Dimension, but each of them could do with more polish. The characters are sadly too shallow, often having one sole personality trait played upon to ridiculous levels, with nothing else at all to their identities. It is very sad that the story itself, and its themes of a deep philosophical nature, get easily bypassed and trivialised thanks to said shallow characters.

The combat has some issues with balancing later on in some of the skill trees, with ridiculously overpowered skills that do not seem too good to begin with, but end up breaking the game. Users might be forgiven for thinking that taking one extra turn for almost every single mana is not that good, until they figure out that it is possible to use items to regain the lost energy and reuse it as long as these items are there, making each battle extremely one-sided. When the final boss can be beaten without it taking a single turn, something is wrong with the balancing.

The lack of variation is also bad. Throughout Lost Dimension, the same enemies are recycled - even more so than is typical in the genre - only with improved stats. This, mixed with the decreasing of party members, means the title lacks fresh content halfway through, making it hard to keep people's attention.

Lost Dimension is a fundamentally fine SRPG, but it lacks polish on the aspects that are supposed to make it shine. It is a creative breeze of fresh air for veterans of the genre, but it is definitely not the first title newcomers should be faced with. The traitor and elimination system takes aspects of the genre and twists them around in enjoyable ways, but, sadly, the rest of the game is not built to take advantage of this to the fullest.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Lost Dimension comes with many interesting and fresh ideas in the genre, and has an overall tight and balanced combat system, beside some game-breakers. It should be a fantastic SRPG with a colourful cast, interesting mechanics and, not least of all, the voting system. While finding out the traitor is fun and adds replayability, it still grows stale very quickly. Fans of the genre are going to love the tight combat and the potential for extreme and creative forms of min-maxing, but newcomers might not be pleased by the sheer complexity and lack of original content halfway through.

Developer

Lancarse

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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